How Ophena stirrups allow Catherine to continue riding her young mare despite her arthrosis

Product used

Ophena S

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Customer Photo Catherine Blondin
provided by Catherine Blondin

Aged 56, Catherine Blondin has been a rider since she was a child. As a mother of four, she has continued to ride quite regularly. In 1994, she took a long break from her sport, before resuming last year. However, the resumption was not as easy as she had hoped. Catherine suffers from osteoarthritis and various foot problems affecting her bones and nerves. We all know the saying “No foot, no horse,” but we could also add: “No foot, no rider!”

Intrigued by an ad she came across, Catherine discovered the Ophena S Magnetic Safety Stirrups. They seemed to be the perfect solution to her problem, as the rider's feet are one of the foundations of their riding, for a low center of gravity and a stable, balanced body weight. “The main reason I bought the Ophena stirrups was because I was struggling physically. I don't have enough strength in my feet, it gets worse with age and I couldn't hold the contact in my stirrups anymore.”

So, Catherine ordered: “I had been suggested other kinds of stirrups, but all the articles and positive feedbacks I had read about Ophena convinced me. I took the plunge, and frankly I don't regret it at all.”

“It is the Ophena stirrups that allow me to ride today.”

Upon receipt, she was impressed with the care taken with her package. Ophena wants to stay close to its riders, so every order placed is addressed to you personally. And this, Catherine noticed. “I was really bluffed, since there was also an envelope with my first name. I took a picture of the box and sent it to my children. There was really a very special attention that touched me.”

She was also able to experience the availability of Ophena's customer service. Catherine had ordered her Ophena S stirrups in a hurry, a few days before a horseback riding trip to the sea. Despite the short notice, she was able to receive her equipment on time. “My feet really didn't fit in my classic stirrups anymore, and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make the ride. On the website, the posted delivery time was long, but when I messaged the team to explain my situation and the fact that I really needed them quickly — otherwise I would have to cancel the beach trip — they were shipped the next day and I received them 3 days later.”

Thanks to this express delivery, Catherine was even able to try on her new equipment before heading to the beach. And from the first use, she was won over by the magnetic safety stirrups: “Frankly, happiness. As much happiness as having a horse.”

“Thank you for inventing this.”

A few weeks ago, she became the owner of a young 6 year old Camargue mare, Frivole. The latter has the particularity of stopping short at each change of type of ground. Her former owner had to give her up after a brutal fall because of this bad habit. However, since Catherine already had her magnetic safety stirrups, this did not worry her: “When I was offered to buy Frivole and was told about her problem, since I already had the stirrups, I knew it would be fine. With every change in ground, she stops dead in her tracks, whether it's a trot or a canter. If I didn't have these stirrups, I would fall. But in fact, since I've had them, I've never fallen.”

What Catherine likes best about her Ophena S stirrups?

  • Their comfort
  • Their safety

The major revelation of the magnetic stirrups was the comfort and fixity they gave her, these characteristics being essential for a good overall riding position. “In the sitting trot, I was losing my stirrups. Now I don't just focus on my feet, but on my seat. The same goes for jumping: I don't have to worry about whether or not I'll lose my stirrups, and I can concentrate on other things.”

In addition, because of her health problems, Catherine's feet sometimes lock up and she has no feeling or control over them. When she used to use conventional stirrups, she would lose them, which could throw her off balance. Now, this is a distant memory. “With the security provided by the magnet, I know that even if my feet get stuck and become completely inactive while I'm in full gallop, they will stay in the stirrups.”

Catherine's younger sister is mentally handicapped. This made her reluctant to see her ride, as accidents can happen. With the Ophena safety stirrups, this fear was quickly forgotten: “I know that when we meet, I will be able to let her ride without fear. This is an opportunity for people with physical or mental disabilities to ride safely.”

“These stirrups are worth the price. From the packaging to the use, there is nothing to improve: it is perfection.”

Today, Catherine would not go back to standard stirrups for anything in the world. Convinced by the safety and the magnetism of the Ophena S, she is even considering buying a second pair for her husband, a new rider and owner of a mare with which he competes in Club 1 french showjumping.